Marta Menendez

Thematic seminars
big data and econometrics seminar

Marta Menendez

Université Paris-Dauphine
Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia
Joint with
Jérémie Gignoux

VC Salle A

Centre de la Vieille-Charité - Salle A

Centre de la Vieille Charité
2 rue de la Charité
13002 Marseille

Tuesday, January 26 2016| 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Habiba Djebbari: habiba.djebbari[at]


We examine the long-term effects on individual economic outcomes of a set of earthquakes – numerous, large, but mostly not extreme – that occurred in rural Indonesia since 1985. Using longitudinal individual-level data from large-scale household surveys, together with precise measures of local ground tremors obtained from a US Geological Survey database, we identify the effects of earthquakes, exploiting the quasi-random spatial and temporal nature of their distribution. Affected
individuals experience short-term economic losses but recover in the medium-run (after two to five years), and even exhibit income and welfare gains in the long term (six to twelve years). The stocks of productive assets, notably in farms, get reconstituted and public infrastructures are improved, seemingly partly through external aid, allowing productivity to recover. These findings tend to discount the presence of poverty traps, and exhibit the potential long-term benefits from well-designed post-disaster interventions in context where disasters primarily affect physical assets.